How to Tell If I’m Infertile? Causes of Infertility in Men and Women

How to Tell If I’m Infertile? Causes of Infertility in Men and Women

Infertility is an asymptomatic condition of the reproductive system, diagnosed when there is a couple’s or woman’s inability to conceive a live product after a year of regular intercourse without the use of contraception. 1

Infertility has been present throughout history; however, scientific research on its causes has varied significantly. Current evidence reveals that 33% of causes correspond to problems with the woman, over half to men, and the rest due to converging conditions of the couple. 2

Causes of Male Infertility

The most common problems causing infertility in men are those affecting the functioning of the testicles in sperm production. Other issues include hormonal imbalances or obstruction or absence of some of the male reproductive organ ducts. 3

Both the complete absence of sperm (azoospermia) and a significant decrease in production (oligospermia) account for about 15% of infertility cases. Azoospermia, caused by varicocele presence, hormonal imbalance, or sperm movement obstruction, requires medical attention. 3

En otros casos, el hombre produce menos espermatozoides de lo normal. Esa afección se llama oligospermia, o recuento bajo de espermatozoides. La causa de este problema de infertilidad es una vena agrandada en un testículo.3

Algunas de las enfermedades que afectan la formación de espermatozoides en los testículos son:3  

  • Defectos cromosómicos
  • Diabetes
  • Hiperprolactinemia (producción excesiva de una hormona llamada prolactina, que produce la glándula hipofisaria)
  • Lesión en los testículos
  • Insensibilidad a unas hormonas llamadas andrógenos, que incluyen la testosterona
  • Hinchazón de los testículos a causa de infecciones, como paperas, gonorrea o clamidia
  • Síndrome de Klinefelter (trastorno cromosómico)
  • Problemas de tiroides
  • Criptorquidismo
  • Varicocele (agrandamiento de las venas del escroto)

Male Infertility Treatments

Male infertility treatments include:4

Surgical intervention

  • Ligadura de vena espermática 
  • Epididimovasostomía
  • Vasovasostomía
  • Tratamiento de la eyaculación retrógrada

Intervención quirúrgica

  • Spermatic vein ligation
  • Epididymovasostomy
  • Vasovasostomy
  • Treatment of retrograde ejaculation

Pharmacological treatment

  • Hyperprolactinemia
  • Hypogonadotropic hypogonadism
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Hyperplasia or immunological disorders
  • Bacterial infections
  • Dopaminergic agonists
  • Gonadotropins
  • Antithyroid drugs
  • Substitute treatment.
  • Corticosteroids
  • Antibiotics
  • Androgens
  • Antiestrogens
  • Prostaglandin inhibitors

Assisted reproductive techniques.

  • Artificial insemination
  • In vitro fertilization
  • Conventional in vitro fertilization
  • With intracytoplasmic sperm injection

Causes of Female Infertility

Many things can go wrong during pregnancy or when trying to get pregnant, leading to infertility. For example:5

Inability to ovulate.

It is the most common cause of female infertility. Occurring in 40% of women, and is due to:

  • Ovarian or gynecological conditions (such as primary ovarian insufficiency) or polycystic ovary syndrome.
  • Aging, including decreased ovarian reserve (a small number of eggs in a woman’s ovaries due to normal aging).
  • Endocrine disorders (thyroid disease or problems in the hypothalamus).

Obstructive problems.

Includes the presence of abnormal tissue in the fallopian tubes or uterus. For example:

  • Endometriosis. The tissue lining the inside of the uterus is found elsewhere, causing inflammation, scarring, and obstruction. It can, for example, block the fallopian tubes.
  • Uterine fibroids (growths that appear inside the uterine wall and around it). Women with fibroids may not get pregnant or have multiple miscarriages or premature labor.
  • Polyps (noncancerous growths on the inner surface of the uterus). They can interfere with uterine function and make it difficult for a woman to maintain pregnancy after conception.
  • Scars in the uterus from previous injuries, infections, or surgeries. They can increase the risk of miscarriage and interfere with implantation, leading to infertility.
  • Unusual shape of the uterus. It can affect implantation and the ability to carry a pregnancy to term.

Implantation failure.

Inability of a fertilized egg to implant in the uterine wall to start pregnancy. For example: genetic defects in the embryo, thin endometrium, embryonic defects, endometriosis, progesterone resistance, and scar tissue in the endometrial cavity.

Female Infertility Treatments

Treatments for female infertility include pharmacological and surgical treatment. Regarding the former, clomiphene or clomiphene citrate, letrozole, gonadotropins or human chorionic gonadotropin, bromocriptine or cabergoline are used.6

Surgical treatment involves repairing or removing obstructions if the cause of infertility is a disease in the fallopian tubes. Surgery to remove areas of endometriosis doubles the chances of achieving pregnancy.

What is UR Crea and How Can It Help You If You Have Infertility Problems?

 has 25 years of experience in reproductive medicine and assisted reproduction services. We offer several types of treatments tailored to your needs; thus, we carry out a diagnostic protocol, which is key to being able to help you.

Our network is composed of a team of specialized doctors in gynecology-obstetrics, reproductive biology, embryologists, perinatologists, anesthesiologists, and nursing staff; all trained in the care of their patients.

We nurture the dreams of those who long to be parents. Therefore, we provide an environment of trust, based on the ethics and professionalism of our team, who provide personalized and humane treatment. Get closer and meet us!

References:

1. Senate of the Republic. LXV Legislature. Initiative with a decree project amending and adding various provisions of the general health law on assisted reproduction. [Internet]. Accessed in March 2024. Available at:https://infosen.senado.gob.mx/sgsp/gaceta/65/1/2022-04-05-1/assets/documentos/Inic_PRI_Sen_Beltrones_LGS.pdf

2. National Bioethics Commission. Towards a law on assisted human reproduction. [Internet]. Accessed in March 2024. Available at: https://www.conbioetica-mexico.salud.gob.mx/descargas/pdf/ley_rha.pdf

3. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Children Health and Human Development. What are some probable causes of male infertility? [Internet]. Accessed in March 2024. Available at: https://espanol.nichd.nih.gov/salud/temas/infertility/informacion/causas-masculina

4. Offarm. Male infertility. [Internet]. Accessed in March 2024. Available at: https://www.elsevier.es/es-revista-offarm-4-articulo-infertilidad-masculina-13108305

5.Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Children Health and Human Development. Fertility treatments for women. [Internet]. Accessed in March 2024. Available at: https://espanol.nichd.nih.gov/salud/temas/infertility/informacion/causas-femenina

6. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Children Health and Human Development. Fertility treatments for women. [Internet]. Accessed in March 2024. Available at: https://espanol.nichd.nih.gov/salud/temas/infertility/informacion/tratamientos-mujeres

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